Yes, it rains at Disney World. Shocking but true. While it can and does rain throughout the year in Orlando, summer is the wettest season, with the average rainfall at its highest June through August.
Showers rarely last more than an hour or two in Central Florida and there is absolutely no reason to let a few raindrops—or even a downpour—dampen your vacation. Just be prepared to make a few adjustments to your plans on the fly, and follow these tips to get the most out of your day.
Coming in the Summer? Pack Rain Ponchos
If you get caught in a downpour inside Disney World, it'll cost you $9 to buy a rain poncho at a gift shop. A better plan: Before you leave home, pick up a cheap rain poncho for every member of your family (Walmart them for $1.50 a piece.). If you are visiting between June and August, you're nearly guaranteed to need them at least once during your vacation.
Coordinate Your FastPass+ With the Weather Forecast
During your stay (and this is especially true in the summer) check the weather forecast every morning. If it looks like rain, consider changing your FastPass+ choices or times using the My Disney Experience app. With the new system, you can change your plans on the fly and swap an outdoor attraction for an indoor one.
Aim for Epcot
While all of Disney World's parks have several indoor attractions, none can match the triumvirate of Epcot's star attractions—the wonderful Soarin', exciting Test Track, and super-cool Mission: SPACE. If it looks like it's going to rain that day, use the My Disney Experience app to lock down all three attractions with FastPass+. If you have any extra time, jump in the regular stand-by line for the charming Turtle Talk with Crush or very humorous Ellen's Energy Adventure (with Ellen DeGeneres), which are also indoors.
Enjoy a Meal Along the Monorail
In the Magic Kingdom when the rain starts? Hungry? The monorail can bring you to three Disney World resorts with terrific mid-priced family restaurants. Enjoy a delicious lunch at The Wave...of American Flavors in the Contemporary Resort; casual Pacific Rim cuisine at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort; or delicious American fare in a Victorian setting at the Grand Floridian Cafe in the Grand Floridian Resort. If the skies have cleared by the time you finish, hop back on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
Stay Dry Watching Disney Classic Short Films
Even if you're not staying at the Grand Floridian, it's a pleasure to spend some time in its glorious lobby, which evokes the bygone days of colonial Florida. On the outskirts of the sitting areas, you'll find kid-sized sofas and chairs with old-fashioned TVs showing classic Disney animated shorts starring Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Pluto, and the gang. Kids of all ages adore watching, and it gives everyone some well-deserved (and dry) downtime.
Learn to Draw Like a Disney Animator
If you're in Disney's Hollywood Studios when the skies darken, head to the Magic of Disney Animation for a 10-minute video overview of Disney animation. Afterward, you and the kids can participate in several hands-on activities that give a taste of what it's like to work in Disney animation. At the Animation Academy, you can even get a lesson in drawing a character from a Disney animator and take your artwork home as a souvenir.
Treat Your Kid to a Magic Kingdom Makeover
If your child loves playing dress-up, consider splurging on a princess makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (located in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland) or a pirate makeover with the Pirates League (located in the Magic Kingdom's Adventureland). There is a second Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location in Disney Springs. Call for reservations at 407-939-7895.
Plan a Post-Rain Visit to a Water Park
Quite often, and especially in the summertime, Disney World will get a rain shower that lasts for about an hour or so in the early afternoon. Think about heading to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water park as the rain starts to let up. You'll have the place pretty much to yourselves until the masses start returning.
Note that tickets with the Park Hopper option do not include admission to the Disney water parks, while the Park Hopper Plus option does.